David Kelly was officially added to the Florida State program as wide receivers coach on Jan. 19, 2018, and brought more than 30 years of experience to his position.
He was on head coach Willie Taggart’s staffs at Oregon and South Florida, serving as assistant athletic director for football recruiting operations and director of player personnel, respectively. He has coached wide receivers at some of the top programs in the country, including LSU, Georgia Tech, Stanford and UCF, and coached running backs at Georgia following a successful run as head coach at Dunwoody High School in Georgia.
In 2018, Kelly tutored a young group of dynamic playmakers that helped Florida State pass for 3,241 yards, the most by an offense under a first-year head coach in program history, and rank third in the ACC and 28th in the NCAA with an average of 270.1 passing yards per game. The receivers group, which featured three freshmen and one sophomore among the top contributors, combined for 186 receptions for 2,604 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Senior Nyqwan Murray and freshman Tamorrion Terry both earned All-ACC acclaim after tying for the team lead with 744 receiving yards. Terry’s total broke the Florida State freshman record that had stood for 41 years, and he also tied the program’s freshman record with two 100-yard receiving games. His team-high eight touchdowns tied for fourth among all ACC receivers and was one shy of FSU’s freshman record. Murray led the Seminoles with 54 receptions and ranked seventh in the ACC with an average of 4.5 catches per game. Murray and Terry each also made game-winning touchdown grabs in the final two minutes, with Murray taking a 58-yard catch-and-run for the final points in a 28-24 win at Louisville with 1:13 remaining and Terry hauling in a 74-yard bomb with 1:49 left in a 22-21 victory vs. No. 22 Boston College.
The receivers consistently showed big-play prowess as the group averaged 14.0 yards per reception and tied for the ACC lead with three 70-yard passing plays. Terry ranked fifth in the country with an average of 21.3 yards per reception and averaged 39.1 yards on his eight touchdown catches. Terry was the first Seminole since Peter Warrick in 1998, and the second freshman in program history, with two 70-yard touchdown catches in a season, and fellow freshman Keyshawn Helton added a 73-yard score against Clemson. Prior to the 2018 season featuring three 70-yard touchdown grabs by freshmen, there had only been five 70-yard touchdown catches made by a freshman in FSU’s history.
In the previous two seasons, Kelly played a vital role in the recruiting operations at Oregon and South Florida. He is a highly respected coach and recruiter with experience at the high school level, ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Conference USA and, most recently, in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos. He was named one of the top 25 college football recruiters in the nation by ESPN in 2010 and by Rivals in 2009.
He previously was at UCF, where he served as the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach from 2007-11 after spending 2006 as the program’s director of high school relations. In 2010, the Knights won 11 games, captured the Conference USA championship and defeated Georgia in the Liberty Bowl for the first bowl win in program history. In his first season as a coach at UCF, he helped the Knights compile a 10-4 record and win the conference championship.
Kelly’s group developed depth every season as the offense counted on contributions from multiple wide receivers. In 2007, true freshman Kamar Aiken caught a team-high five touchdowns and was one of three receivers with at least 20 catches. Aiken made nine touchdown catches in 2009, the most by a UCF receiver since 2005, as part of a 44-catch campaign, and Rocky Ross made 41 receptions. Ross also received Academic All-America honors that season for his work in the classroom.
Before going to Orlando, Kelly was the associate head coach and wide receivers coach at Duke for two seasons. In 2002 and 2003 he coached at Stanford as the Cardinal’s offensive coordinator and associate head coach.
He was the wide receivers coach at Georgia Tech in 2000 and 2001, where he developed the best wide receiver corps in the ACC to help the Yellow Jackets win 17 games and make two bowl appearances. While he was in Atlanta, he guided Kelly Campbell to first-team All-ACC honors in 2001. Campbell finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in career receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions.
His first collegiate wide receivers job came at LSU, where he mentored the Tigers’ receivers and tight ends from 1996-99. In each of his first two seasons LSU earned a share of the SEC Western Division crown. The team also appeared in the Peach Bowl twice and the Independence Bowl while he was in Baton Rouge.
Kelly’s first full-time college coaching opportunity came as Georgia’s running backs coach in 1994 and 1995. There, he coached Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis, Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward and Robert Edwards, among others. Davis was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1995 NFL Draft and became the organization’s all-time leading rusher. He was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXII and helped the Broncos win back-to-back championships with a victory in Super Bowl XXXIII. Kelly attended Davis’ NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony in August of 2017. Ward had a 14-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was named to the Steelers’ All-Time Team. He won two Super Bowls with the Steelers and was named MVP of Super Bowl XL. Edwards was the 18th overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft and played six seasons of professional football.
Kelly was the head coach at Dunwoody High School in Georgia for 10 seasons and earned a record of 80-36-1. In 1993, he capped his career with a 15-0 record and the Georgia 4A state championship. That year’s team was ranked No. 3 in the final USA Today national poll, and Kelly was named Georgia’s Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kelly began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Furman after earning four letters. During his playing career, he saw time at wide receiver, running back and cornerback for the Paladins. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Furman in 1979 and completed his master’s degree in education at Furman in 1981. He and his wife, Belinda, have one daughter, Brittany, who is an aspiring model.
|2018||Florida State||Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers|
|2017||Oregon||Assistant Athletic Director for Football Recruiting Operations|
|2016||South Florida||Director of Player Personnel|
|2012-13||Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)||Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs|
|2007-11||UCF||Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers|
|2006||UCF||Director of High School Relations|
|2004-05||Duke||Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers|
|2002-03||Stanford||Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator|
|2000-01||Georgia Tech||Wide Receivers|
|1984-93||Dunwoody High (Georgia)||Head Coach|
|1981-83||Dunwoody High (Georgia)||Assistant Coach|